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Zach Edey: The rise of the Canadian basketball revolution

The Canadian basketball have made huge strides during the last 7-8 years creating a safe space to nurture basketball talent. Enter Purdue star Zach Edey. That said, with other bigs like Tristan Thompson and Khem Birch heading closer to their retirement, Canada is ready to have a young dominant center available for the coming years.

The Toronto-born Edey announced that he won’t return to Purdue next season and as a result he will pursue to be selected in the upcoming NBA Draft. Edey is considered an All-American talent in the NCAA backing his breakout year with an even better sophomore season in the West Lafayette, Indiana.

Edey was part of the Canadian NT last summer when the country’s national team stormed the 2023 Basketball World Cup and won Bronze and qualified for the Olympics. Edey was among basketball superstars for the first time in his short career.

“You get to see that they’re just human. They’re just guys. You watch on TV and you think this and that and the other thing. At the end of the day, they’re just guys,” Edey said during a press conference on December.

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The Boilmakers star was coming off a great third year in Purdue where he was named National Player of The Year averaging 22.3 points, 12.9 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game for a Purdue team that went on to earn a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

He has returned even hungrier this year after an unwarranted second-round exit from the March Madness tournament.

This season, the young Canadian ranks second in scoring (23.7 ppg) and third in rebounding (11.8 rpg) among Division I players. He has been dominating in the advanced stats categories registering the best Player Efficiency Rating (38.1), Box Plus/Minus (10.1) and the most Win Shares (7.2) in the Big Ten Conference.

Edey, standing at seven-foot-four, at his fourth season Purdue, will likely meet the rest of his Canada NT teammates next season in the NBA. Before that, he will propably be among the selections for the 2024 Olympics if of course the NBA side that will pick him allow him to participate.

“Obviously, the NBA is the end goal. Like I want to be in that league for a long time. But right now, the only thing I’m really focused on is helping Purdue,” Zach Edey admitted via CBC.

Zach Edey: From Hockey to Baseball to Basketball

Zach Edey born in Toronto on May 14, 2002, to Julia and Glen Edey. His mother, a Chinese immigrant in Toronto, stands at 6-foot-3 and played basketball, while his father played Baseball during his younger days. That said, Edey started his sports journey as a Hockey player at a very young age.

With him growing up a lot of inches, he became more comfortable in playing Baseball before committing to basketball as his height made baseball impractical to play for him. Zach Edey started playing basketball late and that’s the biggest reason he stayed in the college for four years. That said, he quickly showed his ability to learn fast.

Edey decided to pick up basketball for practical reasons but he fell in love with the game at first sight. As his mother Julia remembers, he was hooked after just one practice with the Leaside Basketball team in Toronto.

“He came home and he was fired up. He said to me, ‘That was really fun.’ And I said, ‘What did you guys do?’ I was all excited for him. He said, ‘We ran suicides.’ And I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, you think that’s fun?'”

Zack Edey worked his way from a big raw center to the most dominant big in the NCAA the last two years. His size will likely bring him to the NBA, but the scouting reports question his mobility in the NBA level as he’s the heaviest player in the NCAA. With that in mind, the NBA teams will not likely pick him higher than a late first-round pick.

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